Sheila Penrose: Business optimism and hopes for emerging clarity

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Sheila PenroseA few reflections as I leave the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos…

In the U.S. and UK, voters have changed economic policies to be more internally focused, and China is stepping up to fill the international vacuum.

There’s a shift from monetary to fiscal stimulus, as tax policies and infrastructure investments play a greater role. As the Fed and solid economic activity push interest rates higher in the U.S., the dollar and commodity prices will likely strengthen.

Overall – despite the political uncertainty – the world economy is improving and there is business optimism, at least for the near term.

None of this changes long-term concerns and opportunities such as aging societies in the advanced economies, disruption to business models and labor markets from new technologies, and the need for a free flow of talent and capital.

Business clarity will emerge beyond the rhetoric. So keep calm and carry on!

Sheila Penrose
Chairman, JLL